Best Time to Visit: Spring (for the Almond blossoms) or Summer.
Note: Northern Mallorca is the beach part of the island which we haven’t visited yet. This post covers the south that contains the largest town Palma de Mallorca and scenic places nearby.
Reasons to Visit:
- Mediterranean Sea & Sunshine: It’s no wonder Mediterranean Sea hotspots have been immortalized in English and European songs. This was our first experience of the blue-green waters of the Mediterranean albeit in the winter where we did not go in beyond toe dipping. But the abundant sunshine more than made up for it. Platja de Palma is a nice place to catch the sunrise (pictured). The weather and soil also lends it to almond cultivation which has beautiful blossoms around mid-Feb which we were lucky to witness.
- Island Hospitality: We were blessed to meet some of the nicest people we’ve come across while visiting Mallorca (maybe due to sunshine). Our AirBnb hosts spoke no English, we spoke no Spanish/Catalan and yet we had a happy and broken conversation. We love the relaxed, happy vibe of Mallorca.
- Landscapes: Similar to The Isle of Skye, south Mallorca is dotted with a number of hills that make for some dramatic landscapes. Having the Mediterranean Sea on one side of these hills adds to the charm.
- Tip: Take the Ferrocarril de Sóller from Palma to Soller for a beautiful journey on an old school train which includes the views seen above.
- Food & Wine: We could have very easily written a blog post just about food and wine, Mallorca is that good. Mercat de L’Olivar in Palma is one of the best food markets we’ve been to, only surpassed by La Boqueria Barcelona. We also got our wine fix by visiting the award winning Bodega José L. Ferrer winery in Binissalem which run winery tours daily.
- Tip: Buses and trains run from Palma bus station to Binissalem.
- Tip: Buy a grape jam from the Jose L Ferrer winery if you like jam, you won’t regret it.
Weather: Classic Mediterranean island climate which is warm for most of the year and heavy rains Dec – Feb. We plan to do the white sand north Mallorca beaches on a future summer.
Getting In & Around:
- Palma de Mallorca airport is served by RyanAir and EasyJet from Barcelona and multiple large European cities making it an accessible destination. Buses 1 & 21 take you from the airport to the city centre for 2 Euro.
- Palma is a very walkable city for the core centre part. A decent bus service does exist if one chooses to use it.
- Palma also has a convenient transit hub in the city centre just north of Mercat Olivar that has buses to many parts and 3 train routes reaching Sa Poble in the north and Manacor in the east. We’ve used these for our Soller and Binissalem trips.
Food & Drink:
- Finally, we get to the main event. We’ve already waxed eloquently about Mercat Olivar but it’s now time to get to some specifics.
- Get a cosy lunch seat at 11:30 before it get completely filled up with the locals. Definitely try the large fried fish stall near the entrance and the oyster stall on the leftmost aisle from the fried fish stall.
- After a full meal, walk over to the Xarcuteria stalls towards the back and stop by a large corner stall that has staff that speak some English. Try the samples and take back home some Gran Reserva ham to savour.
- Mallorca is also famous for spreadable chorizo called Sobrasada, the black pig variant is allegedly tastier (we’ve had the regular type). It also travels well.
- Binissalem has a nice and cozy cafe called Es P’dal which is good for relaxing if you have a few hours to kill before a winery tour.
- Finally, Soller Port has this amazing paella place (squid ink paella pictured above) which is NOT in the waterside tourist traps and is somewhere near this map reference up a small slope (great views too).